Dignity means not begging for inclusion. CAIR and other Muslim organizations had done a somewhat decent job of not begging when it came to the federal government and it’s law enforcement arm, the FBI; that was until the FBI decided to end the love fest with CAIR and stop doing community outreach programs with them. The FBI has been infested with Islamophobes the likes of Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes whose hatred of anything Islamic is as rabid, demented and misguided as anyone from your local insane asylum. As long as the federal government is under the sway of folks like the two above there’s very little CAIR can do to get the feds to change their mind. I was a little upset therefore to read this “plea” from CAIR for the FBI to justify their breaking of relations. I think it’s more dignified for CAIR to continue with its program of uncovering abuse directed towards Muslim Americans and working with those institutions that are willing to work with them to stop such abuse, but if anyone wants to give in to the rhetoric and racism of Islamophobes there’s nothing you can do to change that, and begging them to like you certainly won’t work.
And speaking of CAIR did you read where they have changed leadership and gone more “local” as it were. The former head of the organization, a Palestinian-American was just the lightening rod the likes of Pipes and Emerson needed to make and then make stick the accusation that CAIR was somehow affiliated with home grown Islamic terrorism. Yes, we all know no such thing exists, but that didn’t stop Pipes, et.al from slinging the mud. Larry Shaw a North Carolina state representative is now taking over the reigns of CAIR and showing another dimension to Islam in America.
Shaw, who has served in the senate for seven terms, has a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. A champion of interfaith understanding, he has gained support in the Jewish community, too.
“I’m very much impressed with his fine personality,” says Rabbi Yosef Levanon of Congregation Beth Israel in Fayetteville. “I think he has good intentions, and I’m praying he will avoid the pitfalls that have plagued this organization.”
Indeed, some have suggested that Shaw was chosen to lead CAIR precisely because he can soften its sometimes combative image.
Khalilah Sabra, a Raleigh activist who directs the local chapter of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation and consults with Shaw on a weekly basis, says Shaw brings a uniquely American political vision to CAIR.
I don’t know what all happened to make Mr. Shaw’s leadership at CAIR possible but I think it has something to do with the group’s tarnished image, a la Mr. Pipe and Emerson. Perhaps Shaw can transform that image and focus the vision of the group to pursuits that will make it more necessary to the American fabric.